Hideto Takarai (寶井 秀人, Takarai Hideto, born January 29, 1969 in Wakayama, Japan), known exclusively by his stage name Hyde, is a Japanese musician, singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. He is best known as vocalist for the rock band L'Arc-en-Ciel, as well as for Vamps. While in L'Arc-en-Ciel his name is stylized as hyde, whereas in his solo work and Vamps it is stylized as HYDE.
He joined L'Arc-en-Ciel in 1991 after leaving the band Jerusalem's Rod for which he was the guitarist. In addition to being the lead singer and main lyricist of L'Arc-en-Ciel, Hyde has released 4 solo albums and 8 singles. In 2008 he formed Vamps with K.A.Z, and started his own independent record label called Vamprose.
After L'Arc-en-Ciel released the single, "Spirit Dreams Inside -Another Dream-" in 2000, the band went on an unofficial hiatus as each of the members began work on solo careers. This was Hyde's debut as a solo artist. In October 2001, Hyde released his first solo single, "Evergreen". After two more singles, "Angel's Tale" and "Shallow Sleep", Hyde released his first solo album, Roentgen, on March 27, 2002. An overseas edition featuring English lyrics was released in July the same year.
Hyde's next two singles, "Hello" and "Horizon", were released June and November 2003 respectively, and second solo album, 666, was released on December 3, 2003. "Horizon" was used as the ending theme in Ryuhei Kitamura's film Sky High.
In 2003, Hyde starred alongside Gackt in the film Moon Child. In a duet as part of the project, Hyde and Gackt sang "Orenji no Taiyou", and when sang live, Hyde could not be there because he was on tour. The song was also released on Gackt's fourth full-length album, Crescent. In December 2003, Hyde's song "Shining Over You" from his 666 album was used as the commercial song for the video game, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean.
2003-2004: L'Arc-en-Ciel returns:
After a three-year hiatus, L'Arc-en-Ciel regrouped for a series of seven concerts titled "Shibuya Seven Days" in June and July 2003. At the conclusion, they announced a new album, Smile, which was released in March 2004.
In the summer of 2004, L'Arc-en-Ciel had their North American debut (as part of their "Smile" tour) in Baltimore, Maryland at Otakon, the performance was later released on the Live in USA DVD.
Also in 2004, Hyde took on the role of the guitarist Adam in the movie Kagen no Tsuki ("Last Quarter"), a movie based on the manga by Ai Yazawa. The movie's theme song, "The Cape of Storms", came from Roentgen.
2005: Return to solo work:
L'Arc-en-Ciel's next album, Awake, was released in June 2005. It was accompanied by the "Awake" tour in August the same year. A second, larger tour titled "Asia Live 2005" was held shortly thereafter. The single "Link" was released in July 2005. It was then used as the opening theme for the anime movie Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa.
In the summer of 2005, Hyde composed the music for the song "Glamorous Sky". The song was used in the movie Nana, another film based on a manga by Ai Yazawa. The song was sung by fellow artist Mika Nakashima and the lyrics were written by Yazawa. In August, Hyde and his solo band performed the song on Music Station with Nakashima, Hyde being on guitar.
The single "Countdown" was released on October 5, 2005, with a track list including Japanese and English versions of the song made for the Japanese release of the movie Stealth and also a special rock version of "Evergreen" (originally from Roentgen).
A cover of "Countdown" was used as the "semifinal" stage in the Nintendo DS rhythm game Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2.
Later that month, Hyde hosted "Halloween of the Living Dead", a three-night event held at Club Citta on October 29, 30 and 31. Each night featured performances by Hyde himself, a guest artist/band and Jack-O-Lantern. Artists/bands who took part in the Halloween performances are Monoral, Uverworld, Olivia Lufkin, High and Mighty Color, Yasu (Janne Da Arc) and Mika Nakashima. The group Jack-O-Lantern consisted of Hyde and the group Monoral playing many Halloween favorites such as the Ghostbusters theme.
2006-2007: International career:
Starting in January 2006, Hyde's single "Season's Call" was used as the second opening theme to the anime Blood+. This single was released on February 2, 2006. Hyde's album Faith was released on April 26, 2006. Faith was accompanied by a five-month tour with many locations in Japan, some exclusively open to members of his fan-club.
After signing on with Tofu Records as a solo artist, a US debut concert was scheduled as part of the Faith tour, which was held at Slim's in San Francisco, California on July 5, 2006. Tickets for the event went on sale online at 1 p.m. EST on April 2, 2006 and sold out in three minutes. A second concert, held at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California, on July 2 was added and tickets were sold out, as were two more US concerts (the Fillmore, San Francisco and House of Blues, Hollywood).
The overseas version of Faith was released on June 27, 2006 and included a bonus DVD featuring music videos for both "Countdown" and "Season's Call". Hyde also made a brief appearance at the Tofu Records booth at Anime Expo 2006 in Los Angeles, California on July 1 for a question and answer panel. Following the completion of the "Faith" tour, a DVD of the concerts was announced and was released November 8, 2006.
Hyde returned to work with L'Arc-en-Ciel, which on May 31, 2007 released their first single in two years, "Seventh Heaven".
In the spring of 2008, Hyde rejoined guitarist K.A.Z (Oblivion Dust), who had previously worked with him on 666 and Faith, to form the hard rock unit Vamps on Hyde's own record label Vamprose. The two released "Love Addict" their first single and began a 46-date tour, playing mostly songs from Hyde's solo albums.
Following two more single releases, their self-titled debut album, Vamps, dropped in May 2009. The album covers a range of rock territory, from metal to grunge to punk.
The band launched a ten-date tour in the United States, performing in New York, Hartford, Columbia, Baltimore, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Their appearances in Hartford and Columbia were part of the "Vans Warped Tour", making them the only Japanese act on the lineup. Their final performance in the States, taking place at the historic Wiltern Theatre in L.A., was recorded and released on DVD. The band performed on board the battleship USS Missouri in Hawaii in early September as an additional conclusion to the tour.
After the band's successful live tour in the U.S.A. they have now been awarded in the category "Billboard Japan Ranking International 2009" in recognition of their success overseas and in appreciation for their efforts to go on a world tour in 2010. The award had been handed over on January 31 at the first "Billboard Japan Music Award".
On July 28, 2010, Vamps released their second album, Beast. Hyde also had his first voice acting job, playing the producer of musician Koogy, who is voiced by Showtaro Morikubo, in the Bakuman anime. Vamps wrote a Japanese version of their song "Get Up" to be sung by Shotaro and used in the anime. They then recorded it themselves for their single "Memories".
On December 26, 2011, Hyde announced on his official website that The Hyde, a biographical book published by Sony Magazines, would be released on January 29, 2012. The book revealed his legal name to the public for the first time.
2011-2012: L'Arc~en~Ciel world tour:
To celebrate their 20 years together, L'Arc-en-Ciel put on a "20th L'Anniversary Concert" at Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo on May 28-29, 2011, with each day dedicated to one half of their career. All of the proceeds from the concerts were donated to the Great East Japan Earthquake relief efforts. Later, the dates for the band's 2012 world tour were announced: Hong Kong on March 3, Bangkok on March 7, Shanghai on March 10, Taipei on March 17, New York on March 25, London on April 11, Paris on April 14, Singapore on April 29, Jakarta on May 2 The New York show was at Madison Square Garden, making L'Arc-en-Ciel the first Japanese band to headline the legendary venue.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license